20:19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
We serve a considerate God. He is not demanding nor unreasonable. On the contrary He works with us step by step. Our fears and doubts are not obstacles to Him. He doesn't reprimand us for not 'getting it' on the first try.
First of all His eleven (Judas is no longer with them) are holed up in a "bunker" scared to move. Should they be? Of course not. The same God who opened up the Red Sea before the Israelites and stood up in their little fishing boat and told the weather what to do is still their God. Peter and John have been to the tomb. They know Jesus is alive. Mary has told them that she has both seen and spoken to Him. Despite all this fear is still ruling in their hearts. It has gripped them in a choke hold and paralyzed them.
These are His eleven. He has invested more time and energy in them than in anyone else. The future of His mission rests on them and they are cowering in fear, locked in a prison of their own making. I have to say unequivocally that if I were Jesus I would be ticked off. Don't they know He can raise the dead? Have they forgotten He can feed thousands with a single lunch? Have they forgotten all His promises? What happened to "In this world you will face trouble but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world!" He just said that to them a few short days before! If I were Jesus I'd be tempted to crash down the 'secure' door and give them a little pep talk.
But thankfully Jesus is wiser than I am by an infinite amount. He doesn't crash down the door. He doesn't even open the door. He just walks through the door. Why? Initially this only increases their fear. It would certainly freak me out. But before they need defibrillators He speaks peace and then shows them His scars. Scars He didn't have to keep by the way. In His resurrected body that can pass through doors and travel through space He could have had flawless skin. He chose not to. He chose to keep the marks that forever link us to Him. The prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus: "Will nursing mother forget her child? She might but I will never forget you. See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."
Jesus kept the scars. They bind us to Him. The disciples immediately relaxed. The fear melted away. It was really Him! His entrance sent the message that He is able to abundantly above all that we ask or think. As my favourite author wrote: "He has a thousand ways to do things of which we know nothing."
Fear had causes temporary amnesia. They had blanked out on His abilities and saw only their enemies. Knowing they needed encouragement more than a lecture He came as God, not bound by time, space, or shut doors, but presented Himself as the slain Lamb.
My kids would be better off if I learned this lesson. Sometimes they should know better but sometimes I should react differently.
We serve a Mighty God who knows when to be Mighty and when to be gentle.